The curse of qat [Archives:2008/1191/Community]

September 18 2008

By: Stephen To
[email protected]

I read with interest that Yemenis in your country are so very fond of chewing qat and consequently, neglect their important business and family affairs.

I saw a picture entitled, “Chinese Opium Smokers,” attached here for your readers. As I am a British citizen of ethnic Chinese origin, the recent opening of the Beijing Olympic Games and my memories of this picture add poignant meaning to one's national self-respect.

The Chinese were poisoned and many undoubtedly had to accept that they themselves were responsible for this self-poisoning. I'd hate to see your people and your nation suffer the same way China and the Chinese did, as it took more than 100 years to recover.

I hope that with appropriate measures by your nation's leaders, including raising awareness about the various harms to qat users, you can avoid lasting damage.